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5 Game-Changing 2018 SEO Trends To STOP IGNORING

by | May 10, 2018

What 2018 SEO Trends Will Your Business Stop Ignoring?

It’s not uncommon for B2C and B2B businesses to move slowly on marketing and SEO trends. But the bigger your business, the earlier you need to act. This gives you the chance to meet the experience before it hits a significant portion of your customers.

The following 2018 SEO trends are about to peak – or already are. Be agile and act now to incorporate these trends into your 2018 marketing plans.

[Read more about agile marketing: How to Make the Most of Limited Budgets with Agile Marketing]

1. Voice Search will be 50% of All Search in Less Than Two Years

ComScore reports that Voice search will be 50% of all searches by 2020. If it takes your marketing team more than two years to launch a new initiative, you’re already in danger.

If you’re a retail or ecommerce business, know that 19% of customers have already purchased products through Voice applications and another 33% plan to this year (Walter Sands).

If you’re a B2B business, know that conversations are happening around using Voice to decrease issues with distribution.

What Can You Do Right Now?

Talk to your marketing team about how to incorporate Voice into your SEO plans.  Understand the long-tail questions your customers ask about products and services. Then, make sure the answers are represented within you website content.

2. How Good (or Bad) Your Mobile Experience is will Impact Your Desktop Ranking  

It’s believed that, this year, Google will finally prioritize mobile experience value above desktop experiences in Google Search. This means that if your company offers a poor mobile experience, it will affect your desktop ranking.

What Can You Do Right Now?

To start, check out Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. It’s a great tool, plus you’ll find other resources to learn more about mobile experience best practices.

3. (Lack of) Speed Will Destroy Your Organic Position

Not surprisingly, page speed is a major factor for both mobile and Voice rankings. Time is up. Stop stalling and fix your website load time and speed issues.

When you fix even just your biggest page speed and load time issues, you will rank higher in mobile, Voice and desktop search across each search engine!

What Can You Do Right Now?

Use the Google PageSpeed Insights Tool to get a baseline for your mobile and desktop page speed. Work with your developer or development team to prioritize the specific recommendations for page speed improvements.

4. Your Brand Mentions will Count Significantly More in 2018 and Beyond

You know that relevant and authoritative backlinks help your website rank well. What you may not know is that “linkless” brand mentions will also play a larger role in search rankings. According to Search Engine Land, BING has confirmed that linkless brand mentions are a ranking factor in their search algorithm, as does a discovered Google patent.

What Can You Do Right Now?

As organic brand mentions become more important for SEO ranking success, you need to monitor and grow your positive brand mentions. Start by understanding where your current brand mentions exist, and what the sentiment is. Tools like SocialMention, BuzzSumo, Klout or even setting Google Alerts for your brand name will help you collect data. When you have a good handle on your baseline data, work with your marketing team or agency to start planning effective PR, influencer campaigns and advocacy review programs to build more.

As AI begins to play a bigger part in rankings, it’s not unreasonable to expect “linkless” mentions of this type to play a bigger role in search rankings.

5. AI and Machine Learning will Impact SERPs

If you have heard of RankBrain or the Cloud Vision API, then you know just how much work Google is putting into powering their search engine results with machine learning.In fact, Google has an entire team, called Google Brain, that is dedicated to AI and machine intelligence.

Google is determined to make intelligent machines that make people’s lives better. Google Search machine intelligence will soon identify and understand search patterns and insights at a significantly higher rate than humans. This means that we can hope for significantly improved search results over time.

What Can You Do Right Now?

Google aims to provide the best and fastest answer for a searcher’s intent. And it will only improve. What this means for businesses is that the quality of content needs to improve. Instead of a large quantity of content, focus your content goals to provide the BEST and most valuable answers for your customers.

Patty Parobek, Director of Integrated Marketing Strategy

Patty develops effective marketing plans based on valuable user insights. She also uses a test-and-learn strategy to continually optimize marketing initiatives to achieve the best results.

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